2012 TransWorld SURF Awards Presented By Verizon
These annual awards, chosen by a panel of experts, are being given to the surfers, events, waves, and happenings that made 2012 a year that changed surfing forever.
Contest Of The Year: Volcom Fiji Pro
The drama started before the first heat even paddled out. This contest nearly didn't happen, but thank God it did. Viewers got to see World Tour surfers ripping everything from flawless six-foot Restaurants, to 12-foot Cloudbreak showing its teeth. And the ultimate highlight was the best expression session the surfing world has ever seen with the greatest big-wave surfers challenging 30-foot-plus Cloudbreak barrels from hell—legendary shit. This contest had something for everyone, and if we named a commentator of the year, it would no doubt be Mr. Dave Wassel after his performance throughout the event.
Check the Volcom Fiji Pro final day highlights
Photo Of The Year: Shot By Daniel Russo Of Dane Gudauskas
We see a lot of amazing surf photos here at TransWorld SURF. Every so often, a photo comes in that shocks the shit out of us. This photo of Dane Gudauskas at Teahupo'o, shot by Daniel Russo, was one of those. The angle of it, the bend of the wave, the colors, the tube style, the lighting—it's one of the best surf photos we've seen in a long, long time.
Big-Wave Slayer: Shane Dorian
From getting tubed at Jaws to packing huge bombs at Mavericks, Shane-O is the hellman by which all other hellmen are measured. His legendary paddle session and particularly that last barrel of the day at Peahi on October 9, 2012 sealed the deal on this one.
Video Part Of The Year: Chippa Wilson In Let's Surf Seriously
Yes, we're giving our own video an award. We just can't deny the fact that Chippa Wilson put together the sickest surf part we've seen a long damn time. As we filmed this movie, we knew that Chippa was stacking clips, but when we saw the final result, it was self-satisfaction to the 10th power. We are proud of our movie, especially for the fact that Chippa Wilson showed everyone what the future of surfing looks like…skateboarding. Buy Let's Surf Seriously on iTunes.
Video Of The Year: Done
As if you needed further proof that John John is the best surfer in the world, here it is. In lieu of doing the whole website/webisode deal, John John stepped it up with this self-funded, mind-blowing, 23-minute banger festival featuring some of the largest airs, deepest tubes, and hardest ripping ever seen on a flatscreen. The soundtrack is tight, the editing sharp, and the overall presentation is clean and punchy. Directed by former TWS intern Blake Kueny and John John himself, this flick is sure to send shockwaves of psych through the surf world. But be sure to strap your brains to the inside of your skull before you watch it, 'cause they're likely to get blown out when you do.
Comeback Of The Year: Ricky Whitlock
After suffering a devastating and literal backbreaking wipeout at Pipeline while warming up for the Volcom Pipe Pro, Ricky was told he may never surf again and was very close to being paralyzed. Ricky, ever the warrior, fought hard, rehabbed, trained, battled, and after a "miraculously" short time, made it back to his beloved surfboard, and in under a year since his bad break, was charging Puerto, Jaws, and yes, even Pipeline. Get inspired by Ricky's comeback in the documentary about his journey from broken to better, titled Ricky Whitlock: L-1, T-12.
Web Series Of The Year: Ward Stories
You know a series is good if every time you finish an episode, you literally count the days 'til you get to see the next one. When the first episode of Ward Stories came out on lost.tv, that's exactly how we felt. We actually even started harassing the guys at …Lost to hurry up and get the next one done! With car wrecks, fights, sick surfing, travel stories too-crazy-not-to-be-true, and interviews from Ward's friends including Andy Irons, Bruce Irons, the Hobgoods, Parko, Mick, and more, this series is unmatched as far as entertainment goes. Chris Ward truly is the most interesting surfer in the world—this series proves it.
2012's Most Epic Fail: TransWorld SURF Women's Issue
Putting a guy on the cover of a "Women's Issue" got us a lot of hate mail (even some from female World Champions), even more so than the year before when we asked all the girls about surfing on their periods and shredding with boobs. Although it was really just a 10-page feature than a whole issue, we admit it was half-assed, when we really wished it would have been whole-assed…maybe this year we'll do better.
Miss TransWorld SURF 2012: Kyra Santoro
It's amazing to us to that so many beautiful ladies send their pictures in to be a part of our endless search for the world's hottest beach bunnies. This year has been record-breaking as far as the amount of entries go, but the girl that captured our hearts and is now officially Miss TransWorld SURF is Miss October 2012, Kyra Santoro from Calabasas, California. We recently met Kyra (named after the famous Queensland point) at the TransWorld photo studio where we presented her the trophy—a machete. Look below to see what happened next. Suffice to say, you’ll be seeing a lot more of Kyra.
Queen Of InstaGram: Alana Blanchard
More than 311,567 (and counting) Alana Blanchard Instagram followers agree that Alana rules. Few surfers have more Instagram followers than Kelly Slater—Alana has that, and a way better butt that shows up in nearly every other photo. Doing the double-tap "like" was never so easy. If you don’t already, follow Alana Blanchard at instagram.com/alanarblanchard.
Air Of The Year: Albee Layer's 720
This one was a tough choice. With John John's 15-foot alley-oops and Gabriel Medina's ridiculous cork 540s and backflips, the “Air Of The Year" category is getting crazier every year. This year, we had to give to nod to Albee Layer, who attempted 720s throughout the year; even the near-makes were f—king insane. Albee made the 720 cleanly near his home on Maui and with that, progressed surfing one step closer to catching up with the technical aspects of skating and snowboarding.
Surfer Of The Year: John John Florence
For the second year in a row, John John takes the TransWorld Surfer Of The Year Award. If you thought 2011 was a hell of a year for JJ, think about his 2012: he won one of the greatest heats ever at the Volcom Pipe Pro, went out on tour and won his first WCT event at the Billabong Rio Pro; won the Kustom Airstrike; appeared on multiple magazine covers (including the February 2013 issue of TransWorld SURF); got an invite to the Eddie and the Red Bull Jaws event, and even had time to film his new game-changing profile video, Done. With his teens behind him, John John has grown in to the alpha-surfer—charging as hard as anyone, doing better airs than anyone, and yes, now he's winning World Tour events. If the ASP knows what's up, he will be crowned Rookie Of The Year. If not, who cares? He's the TransWorld SURF Surfer Of The Year—what could be better than that? We'll see what he does in 2013—we might just have to change the name of this award to the John John Florence Award.
Special thanks to Fender Guitars for kicking down the Classic Series 50s Stratocaster guitar!